Even as the government debates as to when the auction of spectrum for the third generation telephony will take place, telecom regulator TRAI on Monday started consultation for the next level of telecom services.
The fourth generation or 4G technology offers download at faster speed known as ultra-broadband and high definition video on demand among other such services.
"Yes. We are starting the process and would come out with a consultation paper to look into various issues relating to 4G telecom services," TRAI Chairman J S Sarma said.
He, however, said categorically that this is not suggested that skip 3G process, as the government has taken definitive steps and may auction the spectrum soon.
"3G has been delayed badly ... I don't want 4G or LTE (Long Term Evolution) to meet the same fate. Other countries are catching up with the 4G and that is why we are taking advance action," he said.
The aim to provide a wide range of data rates up to ultra- broadband (gigabit-speed) Internet access to mobile as well as stationary users.
TRAI would look into the various aspects, including spectrum band to be alotted for 4G service and quantum and modes of allotment to the operators.
Asked by when the consultation paper be issued, Sarma said "very shortly." The paper would throw various questions for the industry and other stake holders to deliberate culminating into recommendations by the TRAI.